How to Make Ice Pops Without a Recipe

07/17/2014 at 11:03 AM ET

Food 52 How to Make Ice Pops
Courtesy Food 52

In case you didn’t know, there’s a series on Instagram called #bestovers.

The concept is simple: Take whatever odds and ends you have left in your fridge, combine them with some pantry staples, and boom — you’ve got something even better than the original. My love of bestovers is, perhaps, why I have such a soft spot for ice pops, which I consider the ultimate bestovers.

Ice pops (also known as freezer pops, also known as a certain trademarked brand which-shall-not-be-named) are sprung out of creativity, and a nagging desperation for something, anything, new. Not only are they just plain fun to make — you’ll feel like you’re in Arts & Crafts, but you get to eat the result — but they’re refreshing on a sticky, sweltering afternoon. They can also be made in bulk for your neighborhood pool party, and they’re a great activity to get your kids involved in (because it’s never too early to teach the importance of hard work).

Go to your fridge right now. Open it up and dig around — we guarantee you have something that would taste delicious frozen on a stick.

How to Make Ice Pops Without a Recipe

1. Assemble your tools. You will need liquids (or semi-liquids) that you want to freeze and eat, any sort of textural mix-ins (like coconut, chocolate chips, or berries), wooden sticks, and some sort of vessel to freeze in. Feel free to use fancy ice pop molds, but paper cups will do the trick just fine. Clear out a little room in your freezer, and you’re ready to begin.

Not Recipes Popsicles on Food52

Courtesy Food 52

2. Begin filling up your cup with whatever liquids you want to turn into an ice pop. Juices are a refreshing choice, iced coffee gives you a cold buzz, and yogurt makes a creamy pop that freezes beautifully (here we’re using yogurt with fresh raspberries). You can also purée fruits with cream, coconut milk, or juice for a base liquid. Add in fruit for a juicy bite, or layer your liquids for a marbled effect.

When it comes to fillings, pretty much anything goes — just be careful when using booze. The higher the concentration of alcohol, the lower the freezing point, which means your pops might turn out more slushy than icy. Try mixing liquors in with other liquids, like yogurt or pudding, or freezing wine with berries.

Not Recipes Popsicles on Food52  Not Recipes Popsicles on Food52

Not Recipes Popsicles on Food52  Not Recipes Popsicles on Food52
Courtesy Food 52

3. Stick the landing. If the liquid you used is relatively thick, you can put in the stick before your pop heads to the deep freeze. If not, freeze your pops for about 30 minutes until they have a slushy consistency, then insert the stick and freeze another hour or two until solid. You can also MacGyver a pretty crafty security system by taping the stick in place.

Not Recipes Popsicles on Food52
Courtesy Food 52

4. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. When your ice pops are frozen solid (as in, you can no longer squish the bottoms with your hand), they’re ready to eat. Unmold by dipping the mold briefly in warm water if it seems stuck (or just peel off the paper cup), and dig in immediately — these lovely pops are too good to last.

Not Recipes Popsicles on Food52
Courtesy Food 52

If you’re looking for some flavor inspiration, here are a few of our favorites:

– Puréed mango, lime, and chili pepper
Chocolate mousse
– Creamy iced coffee
– Yogurt with fresh berries
– Orange juice and Campari
– Avocados with lemon juice and sugar
Roasted bananas

How to Make Popsicles Without a Recipe on Food52
Courtesy Food 52

Pictured above: creamy iced coffee; yogurt with fresh berries; chocolate mousse; puréed mango, lime, and chili pepper; orange juice and Campari

This article was originally published on Food52, a site that brings cooks together to share recipes, ideas and support.

—Catherine Lamb

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Sarah on

Thanks for that recipe for ice pops without recipe!

Anonymous on

been making these since the 60’s with hawaiian punch.

grudgrime on

My grandma taught us to make these 40 years ago with chocolate milk. As I got older I’ve experimented with anything liquid I enjoy. My current favorite is coconut water and pineapple juice, I’ve tried adding a little Liberte’ coconut yogurt which is tasty, but I like just the light pop with the water and juice. VERY REFRESHING!

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